Monday, November 20, 2006

...And in Russia...

According to the BBC:

Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned on the direct orders of the Kremlin because of his biting mockery of President Putin, according to a former Soviet spy now living in Britain.

Oleg Gordievsky, the most senior KGB agent to defect to Britain, said that the attempt to kill Mr Litvinenko had been state-sponsored.

It was carried out by a Russian friend and former colleague who had been recruited secretly in prison by the FSB, the successor to the KGB. The Italian who allegedly put poison in Mr Litvinenko’s sushi “had nothing to do with it”.

“Of course it is state-sponsored. He was such an obvious enemy. Only the KGB is able to do this. The poison was very sophisticated. They have done this before — they poisoned Anna Politkovskaya (the campaigning journalist murdered on October 7) on a plane last year. Who else would know where she was sitting and could poison her food? Probably also it was the KGB that shot her.”

Mr Litvinenko, who fled to Britain in 2001, was a target because of the Kremlin fury at his sarcastic attacks on President Putin, Mr Gordievsky said. “There are three people they hate: Boris Berezovsky, Akhmad Zakayev and Sasha (Alexander) Litvinenko, who was writing article after article for the Chechen press, laughing at Putin.”


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